Skip to main content

DirecTV won't charge 'Sunday Ticket' owners for missed games

DirecTV issued a statement to its "NFL Sunday Ticket" subscribers Thursday, saying no one will be charged for the service unless games are played.

"If the NFL negotiations result in a shortened or canceled season, rest assured that DIRECTV has you covered," the satellite television provider said. "Your subscription to NFL SUNDAY TICKET is risk-free: You will not pay for any game that the NFL does not play."

The NFL lockout is in its third month, although the league and players held three consecutive days of mediated talks this week.

DirecTV added that a subscriber who already has paid for the 2011 package will receive a credit for every missed week. A subscriber whose package is up for renewal will not be charged until a start date for the 2011 season is confirmed.

"NFL Sunday Ticket," which started in 1994, makes out-of-market games available to viewers. DirecTV has exclusive rights to the package through the 2014 season.

Players have contested the league's TV deals, saying the NFL illegally secured $4.078 billion to build a "lockout fund." The players cited $400 million in revenue from DirecTV, as well as $40 million from ESPN and $17 million from Verizon, as money that the league didn't need to repay if there isn't a 2011 season.

U.S. District Judge David Doty, who has ruled against the league, heard the players' argument for damages May 12, but he hasn't issued a decision.

Lawyer Tom Heiden said the players want $707 million stemming from the TV contracts, plus additional undetermined compensation arising from other rights and compensatory and punitive damages that would punish and deter future behavior. A special master previously awarded the players just $6.9 million in damages, a ruling that the league asked Doty to uphold.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.